It’s a moment portrayed in movies time and time again. A couple stands at the entrance to airport security saying one last goodbye. As they pull apart and he grabs his suitcase to go he says “I’ll call you when I land.”
It’s a simple sentence, one we say to air bound loved ones almost as a reflex, but it says a lot about the world we live in.
The digital age has had a dramatic effect on long distance relationships. Keeping in touch with the other side of the world is as easy as hitting a button.
Gone are the days where being separated from your partner meant staring longingly at the picture by your bedside, writing heartfelt love letters and waiting weeks for a reply. We can now hear their voice, see their face and even pinpoint their location in a matter of seconds.
You would think this instant communication would make living away from your partner easier, but there is a common belief that long distance relationships are doomed to fail and only those who are truly committed can make them work.
She says “if you look at the research you find that geographically close relationships and long distance relationships aren’t all that different in a lot of ways.”
“If we look at their commitment and their satisfaction they’re often very similar and also in stability. You might imagine they would break up at higher rates but they don’t seem to.”
So if long distance couples are making it work just as often as geographically close couples, then what’s their secret? How are they maintaining a relationship from miles away? The answer is a simple one: communication.
Dr Cobb says: “The more contact you have, and probably the more varied your methods of keeping in touch, that’s probably going to be better when you’re long distance from a romantic partner.”
In theory, keeping in regular contact with your partner and not relying on one medium to contact each other is the best way to ensure you stay close and connected to your partner.
Every relationship is different, however, and what works for one may not work for another. The key is to find the apps and methods that work for you and share as much as you can with each other.
Listen to MRU students Kerstin Kauth, Chester Ho and Justine Doll talking about their experiences with technology in their long distance relationships in this interview.
Below are some suggested apps to try out if you’re in a long distance relationship.